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WRANGLERS, NOT STRANGLERS


Ted Engstrom tells about a literary group that once gathered at the University of Wisconsin. The members wanted to be poets, novelists, essayists and authors--and they had the talent to be successful. These young men met regularly to read and critique each other’s work. After a while, they began calling themselves the Stranglers because they were very tough in their evaluations.


At the same time, a group of women formed a sister group and called themselves not the Stranglers but the Wranglers. When they read their works aloud, something much different occurred. They offered constructive suggestions tinged with positive encouragement. They erred on the side of motivation rather than mutilation.


20 years later, an alumnus studied the careers of his classmates and made a surprising discovery. Not one of the gifted male Stranglers had made a significant literary accomplishment. But at least six successful authors were former Wranglers.

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